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AusPharm news

New pharma code of conduct transparency awareness campaign launched : 08/07/2015 :

Peak Australian pharma group, Medicines Australia, has launched an awareness campaign to try to ensure healthcare professionals are aware of and understand the effects of new transparency measures contained in its recently updated Code of Conduct.

From 1 October 2015 - for the first time - payments to healthcare professionals, including pharmacists,  will be disclosed online to the public.

This additional transparency, says MA,  will further enhance the Australian medicines industry’s reputation for ‘world-leading self-regulation’.

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Pharma company helps close the gap : 07/07/2015 :

Pharma company MSD in Australia has donated $600,000 to not-for-profit organisation One Disease with the donation being matched dollar-for-dollar by an unnamed benefactor.

One Disease aims to eliminate preventable disease, one at a time from remote Indigenous communities.

First on the organisation’s hit list is scabies, a preventable disease that contributes to premature death in remote Indigenous communities. It currently affects 70 per cent of Indigenous children in remote communities at least once before their first birthday.

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Bullying in the workplace, climate change challenges to health feature in Australian Pharmacist : 07/07/2015 :

Bullying in the workplace has hit the media in recent months, this time in healthcare settings.

In Australian Pharmacist this month, pharmacy ethics columnist, Dr Betty Chaar from the University of Sydney, has responded to real examples of bullying raised in social media by young pharmacists.

“Clearly, there is nothing ethical about bullying in the workplace,” Dr Chaar writes.

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Foodie theme to educational colloquium : 07/07/2015 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council’s (APC) 3rd annual Colloquium will be held in Canberra on Tuesday 25 August, 2015. The theme for the year is ‘the secret ingredient: can we turn up the heat on experiential education?’

This year’s Colloquium has a distinctly ‘foodie’ theme, with a number of courses for consumption that we hope will delight the senses. The table is set with international speakers, including our key note speaker Ravi Sharma. Ravi is an up and coming UK pharmacist with a significant social media presence, and he will whet our appetite with his experiences from across the pond. A further taste of what we can learn from other health professions will be presented by medical educator Tim Wilkinson, who hails from across the ditch.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 06/07/2015 :

The MIMS July 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Medication safety principles : 06/07/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Medication safety principles.

"Despite the best efforts of people working in the various settings where patient care is delivered, it is well known that medical error is common, spans the various disciplines involved in delivering health care, and has serious adverse impacts upon the lives of patients and staff. The issue is not new: the Latin phrase Primum non nocere  has often been attributed to Hippocrates, and alternatively the Greek physician Galen of Pergamon, but in all likelihood found its first application but the English physician Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689)."

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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Workforce summit charts a way forward : 06/07/2015 :

Participants at an Australian Pharmacist Workforce Summit held in Melbourne on 26 June have agreed on what are the major issues relating to enhanced utilisation of the Australian pharmacist workforce.

The purpose of the Summit - attended by delegates from each of the major pharmacy organisations, workforce experts and demographers - was to consider the pharmacist workforce in all areas of practice with the aim of reaching consensus as to the major issues affecting pharmacists having sustainable and rewarding professional roles which contribute to the health of the Australian population.

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Pharmacist flu vaccination underway in NSW : 06/07/2015 :

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner was one of the first people in NSW to receive a flu vaccine from a community pharmacist under new rules introduced by the NSW Government in March that took effect last week.

Mrs Skinner, pictured at right, received her influenza vaccine from pharmacist Ziad Bazzi at Brunskill’s Pharmacy in Mosman, in her electorate of North Shore.

Since August last year, 175 NSW pharmacists have been trained to administer flu vaccines, with numbers expected to increase significantly in the lead up to next year's flu season.

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RUM funding extended : 06/07/2015 :

The Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project has received funding from the Commonwealth Government for 3 more years through to the 30th June 2018.

The national RUM program, running through every community pharmacy across Australia, provides a system of safe and environmentally friendly collection and disposal for over 700 tonnes of unwanted and out dated medicines every year.

The new funding agreement will provide for the costs of the ongoing collection and disposal of returned medicines along with analysis of these medicines and research into the reasons why consumers are returning them.

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Majority opposed to DTC S3 ads : 03/07/2015 :

Following a recommendation in the Sansom Review of TGA Regulation that aspects of the regulatory framework around Schedule 3 advertising be reviewed, we polled 'listers to see what they thought.

Two thirds of respondents to this week's poll said direct to consumer advertising of Schedule 3 products should not be allowed.

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Pharmacists, other health professionals adopt new ethical principles for times of unrest : 03/07/2015 :

An important step towards the protection of healthcare workers and patients in situations of unrest was taken this week when major global organisations for doctors, nurses and pharmacists adopted a set of new ethical principles.

“Ethical principles of health care in times of armed conflict and other emergencies” is a first-of-its-kind code of ethics that provides a common core for these healthcare professions. Organisations adopting the code are the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, the International Committee of Military Medicine and the International Federation of Medical Students Association, representing over 30 million healthcare workers.

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Sydney Uni gets huge donation for cannabis research : 03/07/2015 :

A $33.7 million gift to the University of Sydney places Australia at the forefront of medicinal cannabinoid research.

The donation came from Barry and Joy Lambert, whose grand-daughter's epilepsy symptoms have been relieved with medicinal cannabis.

The donation is the largest gift ever made to research at the University of Sydney.

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Top US drugs by dollar value revealed : 02/07/2015 :

The top US drugs by dollar value for 2014 were revealed in a report released last week by IMS Health Informatics.

Topping the list was hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi at US$7.9 billion.

It was followed by Abilify @ US$7.8 billion, Humira @ US$7.2 billion, Nexium @ US$5.9 billion and Crestor @ US$5.8 billion.

Collectively the dollar value of just these 5 drugs is almost US$35 billion, more than three times the annual cost to Australian taxpayers of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

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Prescription to OTC Medicines Reclassification – Have Your Say : 02/07/2015 :

Australia is currently one of the least innovative countries when it comes to reclassifying prescription medicines to over-the-counter.

Researchers at Griffith University School of Pharmacy are conducting a research project “Demand and Readiness for Increased Non-Prescription Availability of Australian Medicines: Pharmacy Perspectives and Associated Factors”.

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AusPharm CE: Shingles : 02/07/2015 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Shingles - it’s been put together for us by Ella van Tienen.

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a human DNA virus that is a member of the herpes family. Primary infection with VZV manifests as varicella, commonly known as chickenpox. The virus then persists latently in the dorsal root and trigeminal nerve ganglia.

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More GP support for pharmacists in general practice : 02/07/2015 :

Another GP group has expressed in principle support for the inclusion of non-dispensing pharmacists into general practices as part of a GP led team.

In a statement issued yesterday, members of United General Practice Australia (UGPA) said pharmacists should be welcomed into GP-led teams to support the delivery of healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

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Prominent pharmacy accountants get a new name : 02/07/2015 :

High profile pharmacy accounting firm JR Pharmacy has this week adopted the new name Pitcher Pharmacy.

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A man walks into a bar... and picks up a superbug : 01/07/2015 :

The short film ‘The Pick Up’—featuring a sultry scenario where a man walks into a bar and meets a very attractive lady called Gonorrhoea—has taken out the top prize in the industry-first short film competition #SaveTheScript.

The competition was a collaboration between Tropfest and NPS MedicineWise in which entrants were briefed to make a 45-second short film about the threat of antibiotic resistance. The winners were announced in Sydney on Thursday night.

“Antibiotics aren’t what they used to be,” the man at the bar is told seductively by his new friend Gonorrhoea. “People use them so often these days the world has created new strains of superbugs that spread old favourites like tuberculosis, syphilis and yours truly.”

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Poll: Should direct to consumer advertising of Schedule 3 products be allowed? : 01/07/2015 :

The issue of whether or not Schedule 3 medicines should be able to be advertised direct to consumers has arisen again following a recommendation in the Sansom Review of TGA Regulation that aspects of the regulatory framework around Schedule 3 advertising be reviewed.

The Consumers Health Forum responded to the recommendation by saying it opposed relaxation of the existing rules as 'such advertising could encourage inappropriate and possibly hazardous use'. Manufacturers, of course, support more liberal rules although they do say any advertisements should highlight the role of the pharmacist in S3 medicines supply.

What do you think? Should direct to consumer advertising of Schedule 3 medicines be allowed? Or would this create more problems than it would solve?

Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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New registration standards take effect : 01/07/2015 :

Two new Pharmacy Board of Australia registration standards take effect today, 1 July 2015.

Both the Criminal history registration standard and the English language skills standard are revised versions of existing standards.

Details are on the Pharmacy Board website, here and here.

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